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Newborn Found Dead in Trash Can of Arizona Amazon Facility; Employee Denied Knowing She Was Pregnant

The mother of a newborn girl found dead in a bathroom trash can at an Amazon distribution center in the Phoenix area told investigators she didn’t know she was pregnant, according to court documents released Wednesday.

Samantha Vivier of Tonopah, Arizona, was arrested on suspicion of unlawful disposal of human remains.

Following her initial court appearance Tuesday night, Vivier was released without bail and ordered to appear at all court proceedings. She faces charges of abandonment and concealment of a dead body.

Vivier, 27, told investigators she didn’t see the child move or breathe and panicked after giving birth on Jan. 16, according to a court document. Phoenix police have said the baby appeared to be full term.

No information has been released on how Vivier was identified, how the baby died or why the woman abandoned her.

Under Arizona law, mothers can anonymously leave unharmed newborns at designated “safe haven” locations. They include hospitals, ambulances, churches, on-duty fire stations and adoption agencies. The baby must be under 72 hours old and given to a person.

The law, which was passed in 2001, also states the mothers who follow those instructions will not face prosecution.

Vivier is due back in court for a status conference on Feb. 5. It wasn’t immediately known if she has an attorney to comment on her behalf.

A medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

Amazon said in a statement last week that the company was working with police to support the investigation and called the incident “terribly sad and tragic.” The company’s massive distribution center on the city’s southwest side is one of several Amazon sites in metro Phoenix.

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